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Donald K. Burleson

Oracle RAC Tips

Using Linux

There is increasing interest among businesses in adapting Linux solutions in their IT infrastructure. Linux provides programming interfaces and functionality that is similar to most UNIX platforms. The Oracle Database Release 2 architecture on Linux is therefore very similar to Oracle’s architecture on UNIX-based operating systems, including Solaris, HPUX, and Tru64. Oracle RAC is available for both leading Linux flavors, SuSE Linux and Red Hat Linux. In this section, we will briefly cover the RAC installation and configuration methods with Red Hat Linux.

Hardware / System Details

With the advent of Oracle’s “Unbreakable Linux” campaign, there are two major support categories regarding RAC on Linux.

With Unbreakable Linux, customers rely on Oracle Support Services for technical support of the entire operating system and database stack. However, it is required that the OS (binary) has not been modified via a customized compile or insertion of third party kernel loadable modules. Furthermore, the entire operating system must be Open Source.

Since this included device drivers for such components as Fiber Channel Host Bus Adaptors (HBA), there may in fact be certain configurations that cannot fit under the Unbreakable Linux umbrella. For the Red Hat Advanced server, a script has been provided by Oracle Support Services to run against the customer environment in order to assure the binary has not been modified. If the execution of this script yields no exceptions, support for Operating System problems can be obtained by Oracle Support Services.

The support structure changes slightly for sites that wish to use components that are not completely Open Source, such as certain HBA device drivers, third-party volume managers, and cluster file systems. These components do not fit under the Unbreakable Linux support umbrella, but are desirable in many cases. To that end, Oracle Support makes the clear distinction that support is limited to Oracle products (Database Server, Net products, pre-compilers, etc). Therefore, customers using such non-Open Source components must rely on another provider for their operating system support such as directly from RedHat, SuSE or the rapidly emerging one-stop providers such as IBM Global Services.

The following combinations are available:

Red Hat Linux:

  • Red Hat 2.1 supports both Oracle RAC 9.2 and 9.0.1
  • Red Hat 7.1 supports only Oracle RAC release 9.0.1

SuSE Linux:

  • SuSE SLES7 supports Oracle RAC 9.2.
  • Oracle RAC 9.0.1 is supported by SuSE 7.2, SuSE 7.1, and SuSE SLES7.

United Linux:

  • United Linux 1.0 supports Oracle RAC 9.2.

United Linux is established by Linux vendors Conectiva S.A., The SCO Group, SuSE Linux AG, and Turbolinux, Inc. UnitedLinux Version 1.0 is the engine that powers products sold by the four companies, each with its own value-add features, support, and pricing. As a result of UnitedLinux certification, the following products are supported for Oracle RAC:

  • Conectiva Linux Enterprise Edition
  • SCO Linux Server 4.0
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 (SLES 8)
  • Turbolinux Enterprise Server 8 Advanced and Basic

The general hardware or server infrastructure is available from many leading vendors, including Dell, HP, and IBM. Many certified hardware configurations are available from these vendors. Some Sample Certified Combinations are shown in Fig 6.13

Fig 6.13 Linux-based Clusters for Oracle RAC – Examples

Red Hat ASE 2.1 has been a leading choice for implementing a RAC solution on the Linux Operating system. Initially, RAC files were only supported on raw devices. With the availability of the cluster file system released by Oracle, IBM, and other third party vendors such as Polyserve, it is now possible to implement the RAC database using the cluster file system files. Oracle provides the cluster file system that is referred to as OCFS (Oracle Cluster File System). Polyserve provides a cluster file system called PolyServe File System (PSFS) bundled with their Matrix Server product. Both these products are currently available for Red Hat ASE 2.1. IBM’s GPFS solution provides a cluster file system for SUSE Linux clusters. The Polyserve Cluster File system (PSFS) and OCFS are covered in detail later in this section. 

For more information, see the book Oracle 11g Grid and Real Application Clusters 30% off if you buy it directly from Rampant TechPress . 

Written by top Oracle experts, this RAC book has a complete online code depot with ready to use RAC scripts.  



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